Tootin` Hills Elementary School

West Simsbury, Connecticut

  • FIRM

    OakPark Architects, LLC


    Simsbury Board of Education

  • AREA

    18,000 sq.ft.





This project involved renovating and adding on to an elementary school to accommodate growth. The addition houses the majority of the extracurricular-activity spaces. The existing activity spaces were converted to classrooms. The addition contains a media center, computer lab, special education, choral and instrumental music, art, two sixth-grade classrooms and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$145.00FEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio spaces. The parking area was expanded, and the play field was relocated and expanded.

The addition is designed to accommodate after-hours and summer use. The exterior is clad with brick and windows that are sized and mullioned to complement the existing school. The media center is designed as a tall volume to anchor the corner of the addition. The connecting corridor is randomly dotted with glass block to provide natural light.

The addition was set at the same elevation as the existing building, creating a grade-level change of eight feet on the east side. A sloped grass seating area outside the media center faces the new paved play area.

The new parking lot is separate from the bus drop, and access to the playfields is rerouted around the parking area.

In addition to traditional stack space and reference/reading area, the media center has a tiered kindergarten reading area, computer lab, math and reading tutorial rooms, teachers’ prep and book-binding rooms. A translucent clerestory around the entire reference/reading/stack space provides natural light.